Full speed ahead on our Program goals! That was the message received from the public consultation results presented to the Trail Area Health & Environment Committee.
The consultation, conducted in the fall of 2016 showed strong community support for the Program goals as well as increased awareness of the Program itself. Highlights included:
- A combined average of 81% of respondents strongly support the Committee’s draft goals for Family Health, Air Quality and Home & Garden.
- 80% fully support the goal to reduce lead levels of children aged 6 to 36 months in Trail and Rivervale to an average of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter by 2020.
- Of the respondents who had used the Health and Environment Program, 74% were very satisfied with their experience.
- Public awareness of the Program increased dramatically since a 2010 consultation where 16% of respondents said they knew the Program well to 86% indicating awareness in 2016.
“We can see from the public input that there is broad support from the community for our Program goals,” says Mayor Mike Martin, THEC Chair. “Knowing that we have the community’s support, the Committee has now formally adopted the goals as our targets for 2020. Our Program aims for continuous improvement and these goals are the next step in that direction.”
Mayor Martin continues: “On behalf of the Committee, I would like to thank all our residents who took the time to give us their opinions and suggestions, completing questionnaires and attending presentations. We rely on community input to guide our decision-making. Ours is a unique Program in that the local community leads the work in partnership with industry and government. By working together, we’ve made significant improvements, reducing lead levels in the air and children’s blood lead levels by about 70% since the late 1980s. Now, with continued refinements to the Program, we’re on course for further reductions over the coming years. Teck’s Fugitive Dust Reduction Program continues to offer the greatest opportunity to further reduce emissions and help achieve our 2020 goals for air quality and children’s lead levels.”
Dan Bouillon, Manager, Environment at Teck Trail Operations says: “This consultation shows that we’re on the right track with our Program goals. We appreciate our community taking the time to participate and give their feedback. Working with the rest of the Committee, we’ll incorporate the valuable feedback into both the Trail Area Health & Environment Program as well as Teck’s own continuous improvement of air quality. Our priority continues to be fugitive dust reduction, which will have a great impact on further improving air quality in our community.”
The consultation used multiple formats in order to solicit a wide range of responses from our community. This included the first use in Western Canada of Textizen, an SMS text-based survey, as well as online and paper surveys, presentations to local groups, and an in-depth community focus group. The full report, available on www.thep.ca, summarizes input from the 258 respondents, 93% of whom reside in the Lower Columbia region.